We here at MTV News like to think that history is made every time we put on a Video Music Awards ceremony. Over the course of nearly three decades, we’ve provided you with some of the most indelible images in pop music history, from the Britney-Madonna kiss to last year’s Kanye/Taylor Swift moment and dozens of others in between.
Sunday night’s show was no exception, with another flood of VMA firsts provided by eight-time winner Lady Gaga , West and, of course, randy host Chelsea Handler. Here are some of our favorite VMA firsts from the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards.
Meat Suit: Artists have worn anything and everything you can imagine to the VMAs over the years, but nobody has ever worn a dress made out of what looked like some choice cuts of meat, accented by a meat hat, flesh purse and steak boots. Gaga raised the ire of PETA when she first modeled the suit on the cover of Vogue Hommes Japan, and likely did it again when she slipped into the outfit to accept her night-capping Video of the Year win for “Bad Romance.” The singer subsequently visited the “Ellen DeGeneres Show” to explain the meaning behind her carcass couture.
Hot Tub: We’ve had a lot of odd things on the stage over the years, from Britney’s snake to giant puppet theaters, but never, it turns out, a hot tub. Leave it to the cast of “Jersey Shore” to bring their signature hang-out spot of choice to the festivities. Setting up onstage, the cast invited VMA host Chelsea Handler to join them in the tub, which she reluctantly did.
Pregnancy: Though last year’s VMAs were the first we can recall that resulted in an engagement (between host Russell Brand and Katy Perry ), Sunday night’s show had the distinction of being the first where a host was impregnated during the broadcast. OK, technically, it was a gag and you can’t get pregnant just floating in the “Jersey Shore” Jacuzzi, but still.
D-Bag: Kanye West was on his best behavior this year, but that doesn’t mean the Louis Vuitton Don minded all his p’s and q’s. Closing the show with the starkly funktastic debut of “Runaway,” Kanye broke new ground by becoming the first artist to debut a new song featuring a chorus employing the go-to insult of the moment: douche bag. Hats off, Kanye!
Meet Cute: The VMAs have played host to some unique pairings over the years (Sting and Diddy, anyone?), but it has never featured a first-time onstage pairing by a couple of artists who’ve already scored a radio smash without ever meeting. That was the case Sunday when B.o.B took the stage with Paramore’s Hayley Williams for a run-through of his “Airplanes” just a day after finally meeting for the first time face-to-face.
Octo-Win: Lady Gaga became the most decorated female VMA winner in the history of a single VMAs show on Sunday night when she took home eight Moonmen. While she still has a way to go to match the all-time VMA champ, Madonna, who has 20 total wins, in just her second year of VMA eligibility, Gaga quickly jumped into a tie for fourth place with Green Day for all-time wins at 11. She also set a record for the second most wins in a single VMAs broadcast, nearly usurping Peter Gabriel’s seemingly untouchable mark of 10 in 1987 for his groundbreaking “Sledgehammer” video.
Bike Lane: Performers have arrived at the VMAs on yachts, fire trucks, semis and in any number of tricked-out vehicles, but 30 Seconds to Mars set a new eco-standard on Sunday when they rolled up to the pre-show on their custom bicycles, paying homage to the theme of their VMA-winning “Kings and Queens” video.
He said, she said: An unprecedented incident calls for an unprecedented response. That might explain why both Kanye West and Taylor Swift seemed to make pointed comments on last year’s run-in with the new songs they debuted during the show. While Swift took a conciliatory route with her as-yet-untitled song, in which it appeared she forgave Yeezy for his indiscretions, West appeared to flagellate himself for his rash actions (see “D-bag” entry above).
The Moonmen have all been handed out and the stars have gone home, but there’s plenty of 2010 MTV Video Music Awards news, interviews, behind-the-scenes scoop, party reports and more still to come, so keep it locked on MTVNews.com.